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How Allrecipes engages and monetizes its millennial audience

PALM DESERT, CA – An Allrecipes executive at eTail West 2016 divulged how the digital food hub markets to its strong force of mobile users and millennial consumers by leveraging geo-targeted advertisements and creating an authentic image.

During the keynote session, “Swiping Right With Millennials And Generation Z,” the executive discussed Allrecipes’ focus on catering to its frequent mobile site and application visitors. He also advised other brands seeking to target millennials and Generation Z consumers to follow four keys to success: create good content, build relationships and be social, connect customers to the greater good and be where the millennials are.

“Mobile optimization is critical,” said Stan Pavlovsky, president of “For a lot of retailers, it’s hard because conversion is different; getting people in the funnel is different.

“But this is where all the growth is coming from.”

Heating up engagement
Brands must place a massive emphasis on marketing to millennial consumers, given that by 2020, their purchasing power will be the most influential. Allrecipes has identified several key strategies that it operates by when targeting younger individuals.

It discovered that 90 percent of millennial women visit food sites, while 84 percent of its visits stem from mobile devices. This made Allrecipes revamp its platforms last year to be fully optimized for smartphones and tablets, since many millennials use their personal devices as cooking companions in the kitchen.

Marketers must first debunk several myths concerning Generation Z consumers. While a common stereotype is that this generation does not have much money, the combined buying power for millennials and Generation Z members is in fact $200 billion.

However, they interact with brands completely differently than their predecessors did – they place high value on thoughtful interactions and experiences rather than blatant consumerism.

Mr. Pavlovsky offered several brand examples that exemplify the four keys to success for marketing to millennials. Oreo has been scoring home runs with its recent mobile-first content, as evidenced by its decision to rent out a billboard in London and showcase an “Oreo eclipse” that synced with an actual eclipse occurring at that time.

Social media users were able to watch the Oreo eclipse happen in real-time or at a later date. Oreo claimed one week later that sales grew 59 percent year-over-year.

Additionally, mastering social platforms is a must for any business.

“[Millennials’] time is monopolized on social platforms,” Mr. Pavlovsky said.

Starbucks is an excellent purveyor of user-generated content. It frequently re-grams its Instagram followers’ pictures of their Starbucks beverages or experiences, creating an expertly-curated feed without spending a penny.

Generation Z consumers also want to see their favorite brands connecting them to the greater good, which can mean charities or worthy causes. Outerwear company Patagonia has a long-standing petition to remove snakes from an area in which the salmon population is rapidly declining, a strategy that has struck a chord with people passionate about ecology.

Being omnipresent with geo-targeting
The fourth key tactic to keep in mind is to be where the millennials are. When Allrecipes underwent its site redesign, it also had to alter its advertising paradigm within mobile to offer visitors more useful and relevant ads.

Allrecipes now leverages geo-targeting technology to alert users to sales available at their local supermarkets. This enables the company to send relevant messaging in grocery stores as well.

For example, if a customer walks into a supermarket at 6 PM, Allrecipes can surmise that he or she is searching for a last-minute dinner option. The brand can then send him or her a notification about beef being on sale, along with the suggestion that burgers might be a good choice for dinner.

Allrecipes is viewing a shift away from traditional banner ads to the types of experiences where brands want to connect with consumers differently.

Mobile is an ideal channel to host these types of experiences, especially between digitally savvy marketers and on-the-go individuals.

“Mobile-first is real, and it is today,” Mr. Pavlovsky said.